A new four-part BBC documentary series 'The Mighty Redcar', follows the lives of residents of the North Yorkshire town of the same name, across a period of a year.
The North Yorkshire town was originally founded on a rich industrial resource of Iron ore and fishing. Like other British seaside towns such as Margate or Skegness, Redcar also became a prosperous tourist destination, famed for its donkey rides, pier attractions and entertainment, but like so many UK coastal areas, times have changed, making life that bit more challenging for residents. Some of the most affected among the town's decreasing population are the under 25s, many of whom struggle to find employment in the town with its seemingly elusive opportunities, while the older generations remember the closure of the town's steelworks, still an imposing local landmark, and the unemployment it brought.
It is in often overlooked cultural backwaters like this though, that greatness will sometimes find a niche to develop without interference from the thrum of bigger cities drowning out the creative spirit of young minds. Far from being downbeat, 'The Mighty Redcar' shows the cooperation between the generations, with the young and old finding common ground in challenging times.
Among the young people whose inspiring stories form part of The Mighty Redcar is Dylan Cartlidge. Dylan moved to Redcar when he was 15, with his foster mother, Wendy. The show tells his story as he strives to become a successful musician, juggling his ambitions with his job as a waiter at Wetherspoons. Unlike many aspiring creatives, his primary aim is earning enough money through his music to bring his younger brother out of foster care to live with him in Redcar, and not have to work in a call centre or pub for the rest of his life.
The human aspect is juxtaposed beautifully with shots of the town, and a brilliantly selected soundtrack of songs from the 1980s and 1990s, perhaps referencing the themes and moods of Thatcher's Britain. Twilight scenes of the offshore wind farm and the ICI Wilton plant, the latter being the factory landscape that inspired the look of Ridley Scott's Bladerunner, are set against the sci-fi lullaby of Suede's 'Introducing The Band' in one notable sequence creating an otherworldly feel rarely seen in documentary filmmaking.
Find out more and watch Redcar on BBC iPlayer at www.bbc.co.uk
Dylan Cartlidge will feature on the line up of All Our Tomorrows, SubcultureLive's new music one day festival at London's 100 Club on Sunday 7th October.
Find out more and get tickets here.